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by Theo Stephens July 19, 2020
Most people add an egress window because they want to maximize the usable space in their home and know that an escape window is required to turn a basement into a livable playroom, home gym, office or extra bedroom. While installing an egress window will allow you to transform your space, adding this new feature will also make your home inherently safer.
That’s because residential building codes require any basement-level living space to have an escape window in case of emergency. While the exact requirements vary based on the city, the escape window must be large enough to accommodate a firefighter wearing full protective gear and should be easily opened by anyone inside. So, by installing an egress window, you are providing another reliable escape route for your family in case of fire or some other emergency.
But high-quality egress window solutions should do more than just equip your home with another exit. When considering an egress window, look for an option that both ensures and enhances the safety of your home. Here’s a look at the features that make Bright Idea Egress Window Kits one of the safest solutions available.
All of our windows are made of laminated rather than traditional or tempered glass, which is harder to break, offering more protection against burglars and other intruders. Often used as windshields and designed to withstand hurricanes, laminated glass doesn’t break as easily because it includes a middle layer made of polymer that helps hold the glass in place. This feature provides assurance to homeowners who worry about security and sometimes ask if they can lock down their grates to prevent break-ins – a practice we don’t recommend as unlocking gates can be challenging and time-consuming in an actual emergency.
Laminated glass can’t be cut with glass cutters and doesn’t bust out when impacted, making it difficult to gain access even when broken. For proof of how laminated glass stacks up to regular glass, check out our YouTube video, which shows Bright idea Egress Founder Theo Stephens demonstrating how easy traditional glass breaks compared to laminated glass.
Unlike sliding sash windows that come with one or two locks, our window kits are equipped with tilt-and-turn casement windows that feature a multi-point locking system. That means that when you turn the lock on the window, it locks in multiple points simultaneously, offering an additional layer of security. The bigger the window, the more locking points it features. The tilt-and-turn windows also provide for secure venting because they are angled and are almost impossible to push in from the outside even when cracked open.
The International Building Code requires that the sill height of the opening of an egress window be no higher than 44 inches from the floor. That seems low, but that’s still a height that’s taller than the average five-year-old. Now, think about that five year-old not only trying to reach that windowsill in an emergency but grabbing hold of a handle that is typically located even higher - in the middle of the window. We’ve customized the handles on our windows, so they are located lower on the window, ensuring easy access for kids. Placing our handles lower also provides younger and (lighter-weight) individuals with more leverage when opening the window.
Remember, not all egress windows are built the same. Choose one that does more than just meet the minimum requirements and truly makes your home a safe haven.
For a demonstration of how impact resistant glass compares to regular window glass, we invite you to watch this video:
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